Friday, February 26, 2016

Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming

Another day, another letter in the local papers. Not to mention a little anonymous comment ( not published) directed to yours truly apparently by the same letter writer. Thank you for sharing!
I heard some interesting commentary last night from Hollis Austin who offered some glowing compliments on two recent letters to the editor on the community center  by a husband and wife tandem as being " factual" and well written. Well written , sure, but factual? Not so much. Doesn't the truth matter anymore?
Today's letter mentions the Camp Tecumseh gym and the Immaculate Conception school gym in Center Harbor. He states there was " no mention" of these facilities. Seriously? You just have to read the reports, meeting minutes and presentations and see that they have been mentioned many times.
For the record, Camp Tecumseh gym is a privately owned facility. It has no heat , nor was it designed to be heated. It is unavailable in the summer when we would need it for camps. It was never offered to the Town by the owners. There are many other reasons why it is not workable, but the bottom line is that we did not ignore the possible use of the facility. It was deemed not to be a viable solution.
In the same manner, the Immaculate Conception school was also not viable, but for a different reason. The facility was offered to us at the following price:
Gymnasium  (11,000 SF) @$ 3.00 per SF per month + utilities 
Dormitory (program room space) @  $5.00  per square foot + utilities
Soccer field  @$5,000 per month
Add that all up and it amounts to well over $500,000 per year. Sure we could have negotiated a bit, but you get the point.  That boat won't sail no matter how high the tide or the hot air blowing.

Seniors by the way, don't just get " one room  with folding doors." They get the whole facility. Same as everyone else. It is designed for all age groups.
This did not begin with a " simple study that was supposed to determine if the town needs a new gym." Two studies already proved that. Our review over many months validated that need. 

I also overheard a conversation last night that the cost of the facility would end up at $9 million or more.Where do you folks get this stuff?
Lets put that little fallacy to rest. We are proposing a bond for $6.4 million and expect that the final construction cost will be less than that. Period.
We have stated repeatedly that the final design would be citizen driven and that with the limited funds available and with the direction of the Legislative body, went as far as we could. I was peppered with questions last night (I felt as though I were on the witness stand in a courtroom) on very specific design elements that exceeded the scope of our financial study.
And yet there may be proposed amendments, the legality of which is unclear, seeking to bind the hands of the BoS and not allow us to meet our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers. I would not be in support of any amendment to the article.
How this all really started was to " settle the issue." You have the facts and figures and now it is time for a clean up or down vote.